Well, here we are a new week. Everyone surviving in the insane heat? One thing I’ll never get used to in the midwest is the humidity, BUT we can always make the most of it and find some great indoor activities right? Bet you can’t guess what I’m about to suggest?? Yep, you got it! Sewing!
My 8 year old has been asking to learn for awhile now, and a few months ago, we started some very basic instruction to get her going but skipped a lot of the fundamentals. We are going back to basics and starting fresh. I’m going to be sharing along the way, so be sure to check on Tuesdays over the next few months.
While I know not everyone can start with a new machine, Ry was SO excited when this box arrived for her. I’d been in contact with the wonderful people at EverSewn and Brewer Sewing Supplies and they generously sent one of the new Sparrow 25 machines for her to work with. We are going to talk all about the features this machine has to offer as she learns them, but if you just can’t wait, you can check out the details here. I took some time to play with the machine a bit before we started and I have to say this machine has a lot to offer for a great price point. I think she might have more features than the machine I sew on, haha! I’ll come back to some of my thoughts another day, but for now lets get back to setting this bad boy up.
One of the most important things to start with is positioning. We originally started setting up on one of my counters and it was just too high for her to reach properly. By the time we lowered the chair to reach the pedal, the machine was at her shoulders. We went out and found this little gem of a table at a local surplus store so right now it isn’t beautiful but its just the right height without being too small. (we’ll be refinishing it but thats for another day too, haha)
I think she’s set- feet touch the floor, she is high enough to see the machine easily and has enough room to feed fabric through the back. Let’s move on to learning how to thread the machine.
This is a necessity. I really want her to come and hang out in the studio with me but its also important that she can be working independently. While i’m happy to help I need to know that she can change thread to move through projects on her own. Even that aside, it is something that she needs to be able to do.
We practiced a few times and with the help of the guide arrows on the machine, she is flawlessly threading a new spool completely on her own. Right down to using the automatic threader. We also walked through how to load the bobbin. With the drop in bobbin, she picked that up pretty quickly so I think we are ready to start moving to some fabric.
While she has done some sewing before I wanted to make sure she understood this machine and where things are since it’s a little different the one she worked on before. We kept things simple this time:
- Adjusting the speed to a place that is comfortable to her
- Starting and stopping using the pedal (there is a start/stop button too but we will come back to that)
- Hand positioning
Using some scraps we practiced just a straight line, backstitching at the beginning and end and pulling our fabric out. She loves that it has a thread cutter on the side and insists on using that, even when there are scissors everywhere you turn!
We are going to work on a little pouch later this week with the skills from this lesson so check back to see how it turns out! I will also be letting Ry take over my blog on Friday to share some of her thoughts about how things are going, I promise you won’t want to miss that!